COVID-19 in Ontario ‘dangerous’ with health system straining to deal with cases

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Modelling data shows the current state of outbreaks in long term care homes. Officials estimate without new restrictions, there could be another 1,500 seniors who die by Valentines day.

Premier to announce new restrictions at 1:30 pm

The numbers are stark.

Right now, half of Ontario’s hospitals are not be able to deal with an emergency because their intensive care units are full.

There could be 2,600 seniors in long term care dead from COVID-19 by Valentine’s Day.

Without further restrictions, there could be between 20,000 and 40,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day in Ontario by mid February.

Between 50 and 100 could die each day in Ontario

Dr. Stein Brown, the dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto laid out the latest modelling on how the COVID-19 virus is moving in Ontario. He says the province’s situation has gone from precarious to dangerous.

“As this virus spreads, so with the cases and so will the deaths,” Brown told reporters Tuesday.

Brown says cellphone data shows the lockdowns imposed in Metro Toronto and Windsor had little effect. “We are not seeing any real change since the restrictions took place in the grey zone.”

He points to surveys which show 34 per cent of Ontarians didn’t follow the restrictions and 32 per cent had more than three people in the their homes over the holidays. The current provincial guidelines say no one should be entering your home that doesn’t live there.

“The shutdown was not enough, we need more measures,” says Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe. “We’re in a dangerous situation.”

Yaffe and Brown both agreed without social supports, such as protection from eviction and paid sick leave days, any new measures will not work.

Premier Ford is announcing the new measures at 1:30 pm.